THOMAS, HARRY H., engineer, was born in Mifflin county, Pa., May 5, 1859. He is a son of James and Angeline (Stahl) Thomas. His maternal great-grandparents are of German orgin. Henry Stahl, maternal grandfather of Mr. H.H. Thomas, was born at Lewistown, Mifflin county, and was a butcher. His wife was also a native of Lewistown. They had nine children, four of whom are still living: Adam, Henry, Mary, wife of John Morrison, of Decatur, Ill., and Angeline, wife of James M. Thomas. Their deceased children are: Lavinia, wife of Robert Jackson; John; Rachel, wife of Henry Croffer, died September 17, 1873, aged thirty-nine years; Charlie, died September 17, 1874, aged forty years, and George. The family were consistent members of the Lutheran church. Both grandparents passed away at Lewistown, Mifflin county. The paternal grandparents of Harry H. Thomas were natives of Huntingdon county, Pa. His grandfather was a barber by occupation. He had a family of seven children, five of whom are living: Annie, wife of James McGlennan, resides at Zanesville, Ohio; Valeria Jane, wife of J.B. Reed, of Philadelphia, Pa.; William; James M., father of Harry H. Thomas, and Martha, wife of William Stone, Hollidaysburg, Blair county, Pa. Their deceased children are: Johnson and E. Clarence, who died in 1889, aged 80 years. Both grandparents were members of the Lutheran church, and both died at Lewistown.
James M. Thomas, father of Harry H., was born in Huntingdon county, Pa., in 1824. He spent the earlier part of his business life in running packet boats on the Pennsylvania canal between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, in which business he was engaged for eleven years. Later he was employed in the ore mines in Mifflin county for two years. He was married, at Lewistown, to Miss Angeline, daughter of Henry and Susan Stahl. They had ten children, eight of whom are living: Valerie J., wife of M.H. Rider, Lewistown, Pa.; James B., Harry H., Andrew M., George M., E. Clare J., Mary, wife of Joseph Patton, deceased, and Ida May, wife of Harry Haffa. Their deceased children are: Matilda, died May 15, 1873, aged nineteen years, wife of Benjamin Pauling, and William H., died March 8, 1858. After his marriage, in 1852, Mr. Thomas engaged in the hotel business, and has been a prosperous and popular hotel keepr for thirty-seven years. He is well adapted to the business, and enjoys it; he is still actively engaged in furnishing public entertainment. Mr. Thomas enlisted, 1861, in company C, seventy-eighth regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers, participating in the battle of Antietam. Mr. Thomas is an active member of the G.A.R., and Lodge No. 146, K. of P. He is a Democrat in politics, and the family are members of the Lutheran church.
Harry H. Thomas attended the publics schools in Lewistown, Pa., until he was sixteen, when he left wschool for the railroad. At the age of twenty-one he took a position as brakeman on the Pennsylvania railroad, between Harrisburg and Altoona. In six weeks he was promoted to be fireman, in which capacity he served six years and five months. In 1888 he was promoted to engineer, which position he has held to the present time. Mr. Thomas has passed through very exciting and adventurous experiences, and has had some narrow escapes from death. On February 3, 1896, running between Mifflin and Mexico, his engine collided with a box car, in which accident he sustained injuries so severe that he was unconscious for three days, and disabled for six weeks. Mr. Thomas was married at Freedom Forge, Mifflin county, Pa., April 7, 1877, to Mary M., daughter of John and Mary E.(Clearer) Soles, born in Juniata county, July 16, 1859. They have four children: Angeline, Harry F., James M., and one that died in at its birth. Mr. Thomas is an active member of State Capitol Lodge, No. 70, I.O.O.F., and of Egyptian Commandery, No. 114, K. of M. He is a Democrat. He and his family are sonsistent members of the Fifth Street Methodist church.
John Soles, father of Mrs. Thomas, was born in Juniata county, Pa. He was a farmer, and in the winter was engaged in burning lime. His wife, Mary E., was a daughter of Thomas and Mary E. Clearer, and a native of Juniata county, where they were married. Seven of their nine children are living: Matilda, Mrs. Thomas; Emma, wife of Joseph Jones, Harrisburg; Annabel, wife of Frederick Bequitt, Harrisburg; Charles; Rebecca, wife of Adam Ziegler, Harrisburg; Edward, and Ida. Mr. Soles died at his home in BEale township, Juniata county. He was a member of the Methodist, and his wife of the Lutheran church. She died in Harrisburg, and was interred besdie her husband, in Juniata county. George Soles, paternal grandfather of Mrs. Thomas, was born in Licking Creek Valley, Juniata county, and was a laborer by occupation. He was married to Miss Catharine, daughter of Samuel and Rebecca Yocum. They had nine children, four of whom are still living:: George, Mary, wife of William Wagner,Lewistown, Pa., Henry, and Rebecca, wife of George Yocum. Their deceased children are: Eliza, wife of Abraham Meffard; Sarah; John, father of Mrs. Thomas; William, died June 9, 1882, aged thirty-nine years; Hannah, wife of Calvin Cassner. Mr. Soles died at Lewistown and his wife at Licking Creek Valley, Juniata county. Both were buried in the Licking Creek Valley cemetery. The family were members of the Lutheran church. Thomas Clearer, maternal grandfather of Mr. Thomas, was born in Juniata county and was a shoemaker. He had a family of six children, four of whom are living: Amelia, wife of Andrew Heck, of Marysville, Perry county; Varina, wife of Levi Loomey, York county; Rebecca , wife of Harry Harris, Winthrop, Mass., and Kezia J. Their deceased children are: Mary E., wife of John Sales; Harrison C., killed at the battle of Antietam. Mr.and Mrs.Clearer are buried side by side in the cemetery in Juniata county.